We know that being open and honest in a relationship is important. But this isn’t always simple. It isn’t that we purposely have something to hide from our partner, or that we want to deceive them. There are many understandable reasons why we may have difficulty opening up to our own partner, and being straightforward with them. We can feel these things without being able to describe them, or without even consciously knowing that we’re experiencing them.
Sometimes, we hope that true love will be enough to help us overcome these barriers to communication. But this isn’t always the case; even the most devoted lovers can find it hard to always be honest with each other.
In this article, you’ll find out 10 simple ways to be sincere in a relationship, and learn how to build lasting openness and honesty with your partner.
1. Cultivate your self-esteem.
One of the reasons that you might have trouble being sincere in your relationship is the fear that if you open up, you will expose inadequacies and insecurities that you don’t want anyone to see. Of course, people should be able to depend on their partners to help them overcome their fear. But you can’t expect your partner to do this without the main effort coming from your end. Sincerity in relationships begins with an inner assurance that you are a good person, and that you have a lot to offer.
2. Be honest with yourself.
Feeling secure with your character and abilities puts you in a position to honestly evaluate your own thoughts, feelings, and behavior. There are many times when we would rather not question our beliefs and actions, because we feel completely justified in them.
For example, if you were angry with your partner for coming home late, you might feel justified in making accusations against them instead of calmly asking why they came home late. It may feel like you’re being sincere because you’re expressing your feelings. But sincerity that is not based on reality is not helpful to a relationship. Taking a step back and being honest with yourself about why you think and feel the way you do will go a long way towards encouraging sincerity in your relationship.
Also read: How to be Honest in a Relationship: 12 Ways
3. Wait for the right moment.
Too often, people blurt out whatever is on their minds to their partners at any time. You may be completely correct in your statement, and you may even say it in the right way. But if the time and place are wrong, your words will fall on deaf ears. It will only harm your future attempts at sincerity. You get the sense that your partner isn’t willing to listen to you, when they simply don’t have the time and energy to devote to the issue.
4. Don’t make excuses to avoid discussions.
On the other hand, wanting to avoid a difficult conversation might lead you to constantly involve yourself in distractions, leaving your partner without an opening to bring up their concerns. Ask yourself if you’re using your work, hobbies, other relationships, or something else to shift the focus away from a sincere discussion.
5. Explore your hidden fears and desires.
Hidden fears and desires can often influence us to act inconsistently from time to time. Having a fear of intimacy, for example, can lead you to express a sincerely felt wish for more closeness with your partner, and then push them away after they’ve given you the closeness that you asked for.
Because these tendencies are hidden even from yourself, your own feelings and behavior can leave you as confused and hurt as your partner. They stem from painful experiences that you had in the past, which means that you’ll have to revisit these memories and possibly relive the emotions. It’s difficult and frightening, but drawing the connections between your past experiences and your behavior in the present will enable you to act in a way that gives meaning to the sincerity of your words.
6. Keep your promises.
On that note, the real test of our sincerity is our ability to keep promises. Being in love might give you the urge to exaggerate and make grand promises about your future together and what you can offer. This is natural because of your heightened emotions, but promises like these are not sincere. Before you make a promise, you must be certain that you can follow through with it.
7. Don’t be a perfectionist.
If you’re a perfectionist by nature, this can become a detrimental factor in your relationship when you start applying your perfectionistic views to yourself or your partner.
Trying to be perfect all the time prevents you from being sincere because no one is perfect, and you’re hiding the real “you” along with your shortcomings. The same goes for your partner; they will feel that they can’t be sincere with you, since you want nothing less than perfection. Giving up the idea of perfection opens you up to the possibility of a sincere connection, one that is accepting of everything that’s beautifully flawed in your partner and yourself.
8. Be kind.
It’s a cliché, but for a good reason: truth hurts. Given this, it might seem kinder to avoid being sincere with your partner about things that would hurt them. In the long run, this will cause the issues to grow until they’re completely unavoidable, and even more painful to deal with.
It’s a challenge, but it’s necessary to create an emotional environment of kindness and understanding in your relationship: one where both you and your partner feel safe in being sincere, even if the truth hurts.
Also read: 16 Good Ways to be Kind in a Relationship
9. Reassurance is key.
It’s not enough to give reassurances to your partner; it’s important to know how to ask for reassurance too. You may not even realize it, but lack of reassurance can make you hesitant to open up and be sincere. Admitting your vulnerability is hard, but sincerity in a relationship is a mutual effort, and your partner needs to understand how you feel in order to respond to you constructively. Remember that relationships consist of give-and-take, and you have the right to ask for the same things that you offer.
10. Don’t forget to laugh!
We’re all a little bit weird in our own wonderful ways. Being close to your partner, and spending so much time with them, means that your quirks and habits will be much more noticeable to each other. You won’t always like what you see, and they won’t always like what they see, either. Part of love is learning to look at each other with tolerance and gentle humor. If you can feel at ease with each other in this way, you’ll be much more likely to be sincere.
Sincerity paves the way for true love and trust in a relationship.
It’s not always easy to be honest, even with those we love. The challenge lies in making each other feel secure enough to admit to everything that’s imperfect about us, and know that we’re still worthy of each other’s love. We can truly understand each other only when we feel safe enough to be sincere about what we think and feel.